Registrations ramping for 2016 Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie cycling event

Carla Allen
Published on February 14, 2016

In 2015, over 400 cyclists participated in the highly successful Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie cycling event.

©Carla Allen

CLARE - Organizers for the second annual Grand Fondo cycling event have started peddling registrations for Sept. 25.

Marketing coordinator Larry Peach says representatives are attending two cycling trade shows this winter in Montreal and Toronto.

“We’re hoping to see more participants from the rest of Canada this year,” he said.

In 2015, over 400 cyclists (far more than expected) participated in the highly successful event, the province’s first Gran Fondo.  As of Feb. 10, 144 had registered ... six months in advance.

In Italian Gran Fondo means "Grand Tour", a mass-start cycling ride that brings together road cyclists of all abilities.

“The Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie will appeal to those looking to ride for fun, for good health and to take on a personal challenge, all while enjoying the beautiful scenery in a safe environment,” said Peach.

Although a timed event, he says this is more of a self-paced fun group event, rather than a race. There will also be opportunities to sample Acadian fare at nutrition breaks.

This year, three rides will be available: experienced cyclists will be challenged by a 117 kilometre Gran loop while novice cyclists may prefer the shorter 35 km Piccolo Fondo.

Riders will navigate rolling inland roads and pass by towering wooden churches along the panoramic coastal route that hugs Baie Sainte-Marie.

New for 2016 will be the 67 km Medio Fondo, a medium distance that will take participants along the scenic Bas-de-la-Rivière loop with vistas of Baie Sainte-Marie and Digby Neck.

The event starts at 8:30 a.m. Sunday morning at the Vélo Baie Sainte-Marie bike shop located at 9976 Highway 1 in Saulnierville. A lunch and awards ceremony follow. On the Saturday during pre-registration, riders can sample local Acadian culture at the Saulnierville Legion. Participants registered by Aug. 1 will receive an event Louis Garneau jersey. Early-bird registration ($85) is open until Aug. 1, however registration will be available up until the morning of the event ($125).

In 2015, the first Gran Fondo Baie Sainte-Marie event generated an estimated $268,000 in economic impact activity for Nova Scotia, of which $177,000 occurred in the Clare region, according to an assessment by the Canadian Sport Tourism Alliance.

More Gran Fondo info

 To watch a new promo video, including participant testimonials from 2015 cclick here.

 For more information and to register online, visit this link.